Am I too Positional?


Garry Kasparov was a tactical mastermind. Quite possibly the 12th greatest player to ever live. And of course, a World Champion. One of the greatest champions of our sport. 

However, his understanding of positional chess leaves little to be desired. He was a pure tactician. 

Anatoly Karpov, the greatest player to ever live, on the other hand was purely positional. 

The latter is who I modeled my game after. In my early days, this style of play brought be great success. I should mention that my blitz rating at one time was a barely believable 1293. 

Lately however, my rating has taken a steep decline. And I started to think, maybe I have become too positional. 

Should I be more focused on tactics rather than spending endless hours on study of Chess games of masters old? 


 Your biggest flaw is spending too much time being an idiotic troll.

Erick sums it up perfectly! But basically you should always look for tactics... You wouldn’t want to miss a mate in 3 to strengthen your position.
ErikWQ wrote:

 Your biggest flaw is spending too much time being an idiotic troll.

This is the problem with in recent years. When I first started playing our wonderful sport, the forums were filled with Intellectuals with a great willingness to help their fellow Chessist. Now, they are littered with comedians eager to put down any thriving Chessian. I am baffled as to how comments like ErikWQ's get past the mods. 


 what does 'positional' mean? Explain please...


While your playing style might seem important, what really matters is what your opponent believes. If you manage to convey how tactical your games are while keeping your positional style (e.g. by bringing a friend who would praise the beauty and surprising nature of your games) you can have the best of both worlds. This strategy requires a bit of practice to master and it might be tougher to use online, however, the benefits pay off.


Yeah, I think Erik hit the nail on the head.


No such thing as too positional!


Depends on the position - Humphrey Bogart or Barry Manilow movie after autocorrect.


I dunno...was TIGRAN PETROSIAN too positional??

mickynj wrote:

No mere human could be expected to maintain a lofty 1293 rating. It just isn't possible. Even the greatest mind is going to crack under such a heavy load


But I felt that some of the reasons for my downfall were tactical weaknesses. I didn't see some cheap tricks even though I always had a dominant positional advantage. 


With a rating all the way up above 1200, it's clear that you have mastered the positional aspects of chess. Now, that being said, I don't think you're too positional - it's just that you need to improve your tactical skill. Once you bring your tactical ability up to your positional ability you should be able to become a super GM shortly after.

We all laughed when VladimirHerceg91 wrote:

I am baffled as to how comments like ErikWQ's get past the mods. 


They're probably too busy laughing their nuts off at your pompous, self-important posts and delusions of greatness.


The reason your awesome rating suffered a decline is because you didn't know how to handle your fame. 

After so much praising, interviews, invitations from presidents all around the world, you really believed that you are a God of chess and stopped working a minimum of 19 hours a day like you should have. 

It is like what happened to Rocky Balboa. He started spending time on other things and then Ted Clubber-Lang destroyed him. 


The problem is not your style, your style is very difficult to figure out and to prepare for. The problem is that you need to get greedy, you need to be hungry again. 

Then you will get to the 1293 rating again. Hell, you may even achieve the unachievable and get to 1300! I know it sounds impossible, but 10 years ago no one believed Donaldo Trump would be US president. 

ed1975 wrote:
VladimirHerceg91 wrote:

I am baffled as to how comments like ErikWQ's get past the mods. 


They're probably too busy laughing their nuts off at your pompous, self-important posts and delusions of greatness.>>

I must protest here. Vladimirherzegovina91 is my glorious leader, whom I strive to emulate in all things intellectual.


I️ will recommend for you what is perhaps the greatest instruction manual ever written for non-posits (the colloquial term for GM’s who achieved their level with little positional understanding, such as Morphy, Alekhine, Tal, and Kasparov)...

Rapid Chess Improvement by Michael de la Maza... It is no coincidence that he waited until after his good friend Kasparov lost the championship before he published this masterpiece classic of instructional chess literature.

Vlad - what have you learned from the games of old. Can you name the tactics they used - because even they relied mainly on tactics.  I realize I need to improve a lot in tactics and pattern recognition if I'm going to seriously cut down on blunders - the reason most games are decided.  The Tactical Motifs are the tools of the trade and I'm making sure I recognize as many of them as I can by name, because identifying something by name creates a "hook" in your brain from which to quickly retrieve information.  Learning Boden's Mate, where the intersecting diagonals of two Bishops trap the King helps me recognize intersecting Bishop diagonals more easily and helps my game.  Here at and at are great pages of interacting tactics examples. A great place to start.


Optimissed our club will supreme one day and we will get the respect we deserve. 

Dannyhume and Mick, thank you for the informative posts. I have been slacking on my studies lately, this should be a great re-starting point. 

If you are looking to improve your chess skills any your rating you should look for a chess coach. There is a free chess coach in the forms somewhere.
I hope this helped?

If you want to learn positional chess, i would recommend you go back, and look at Garry Kasparov's games again.

Especially his closed games.

Watch how he anticipates and prepares for his oipponents breaks. And lines his pieces up so those breaks will unleash HIS pieces, as well as his opponents.

Watch his uncanny knack formaking sure his attack landed more effectively and faster than his opponents did.

That is positional chess, at it was meant to be.